Iraq recaptures Mosul mosque from ISIS


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

Iraqi troops have recaptured the Mosul mosque where ISIS declared its caliphate three years ago.

After eight months of grinding urban warfare, Iraqi government troops on Thursday captured the ruined mosque at the heart of Islamic State’s de facto capital Mosul, and the prime minister declared the group’s self-styled caliphate at an end. Iraqi authorities expect the long battle for Mosul to end in coming days as remaining Islamic State fighters are bottled up in just a handful of neighborhoods of the Old City.

The seizure of the nearly 850-year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque — from where Islamic State proclaimed the caliphate nearly three years ago to the day — is a huge symbolic victory. “The return of al-Nuri Mosque and al-Hadba minaret to the fold of the nation marks the end of the Daesh state of falsehood,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement, referring to the hardline Sunni Mulsim group by an Arabic acronym.

The fall of Mosul would in effect mark the end of the Iraqi half of the IS caliphate, although the group still controls territory west and south of the city, ruling over hundreds of thousands of people.

Its stronghold in Syria, Raqqa, is also close to falling.

This defeat of ISIS by Iraqi government forces has been building for months as they have been pushing steadily but slowly forward in heavy street fighting in Mosul. The victory is even more significant in that it has been achieved by Iraq, not American forces, though they have been happily allied with us, and have gladly taken our aid.

Will this victory lessen Islamic radicalism worldwide? No, not likely. The last eight years of bad foreign policy has allowed this evil to fester. It will take a lot more than just the fall of ISIS to cleanse the wound. We still have the Iran government and numerous terrorists organizations running governments throughout the Middle East that are their allies. They are not going away, and their goal of destroying the infidel remains.

Share

22 comments

  • LocalFluff

    It’s just shifting from sunni to shia terrorists in Iraq, which is an Iranian province. Middle Eastern people will be terrorists until the second to last one kills the last one in a suicide attack. The sooner the better. That mosque will by the way not be center for terrorism and oppression any more, at least that is a good thing that ISIS has accomplished.

  • ken anthony

    Islam is an algorithm that can not coexist with any other. The threat is believing it’s a religion.

  • LocalFluff

    Islam is very “theological”. NOT!
    Jesus had a new idea, very absurd. Unconditional and unresponsive altruism. Which works well when it is mutual, but is suicidal when you interact with anyone who doesn’t play the same game. Thus the government tortured Jesus to death. It was a novel and still somewhat interesting kind of way of thinking about relationships. Theologically. And then there was the reformation when the fundamental question was raised if it really is a true sacrifice to bribe priests to get to heaven. Stuff like that. A discussion about what religion is and should be.

    Islam is however since the death of Muhammad all about the war between shia and sunni. Which is the war about who will take over the “prophet” war lord’s power. His generals or his relatives. That’s “religion” for the muslims. Very philosophical, isn’t it.

  • LocalFluff

    By the way, today everyone (of the nerds in the pretended “debate” about it) seems so concerned about health risks for astronauts. While billions of people imagine they will travel to the Heavens DEAD! They want to die to get there. Some unfortunately even kill themselves in order to get what they imagine is a ticket for the trip.

    How do the space hypochondriacs address that little issue of popular risk affinity for the cause? Keeping on their Besserwissering, are they? What I appreciate about any religion I know of, however crazy, is that it represents the dream of getting out of here. That’s crazy too, but it is my kind of crazy.

  • wayne

    ken-
    good stuff.

    Coming up on the 4th of July, it occurs to me very clearly, we have been fighting Islamic-jihai’s, our entire history.
    We’ve changed for the better, while they have stayed exactly the same. Exactly, the same. It’s truly “medieval.”
    Jihadi’s, fascism, national-socialism, international-communism, monarchy, among other variants– all 100% imported, foreign, alien ideologies, all completely incompatible with our way of life.

  • LocalFluff: Your comments on religion and Islam here suggest strongly that you are largely uneducated on the roots of western civilization, on Judaism, on Christianity, and on the Old Testament, the New Testament, on Greek philosophy, and in fact, on almost all the philosophies that made western civilization such a success in creating civilization. Your solutions to the evils of Islam are no different than the evils of Islam. They would eliminate Islam by making our culture no different, and just as savage.

    You might want to spend some time doing some reading. For example, I am presently reading St. Augustine’s The City of God. It has been a revelation to me, in that it has explained a great deal about the roots of the Catholic approach to Christianity, as well as medieval thought. It also is remarkably civilized, and thoughtful. Though he wrote it shortly after the fall of Rome in order to discredit the critics of Christianity who blamed the new religion for that fall, his focus was not to destroy his enemies but to persuade everyone that his religion was a route to a better way of life. In this goal I would say he largely succeeded, as his work was remarkably influential.

    The key phrase above is “a better way of life.” There were reasons why the U.S. was so successful in rebuilding Japan and Germany after World War II, and those reasons have to do with the foundations of western civilization. We went in with the goal of destroying the fascists ruthlessly, but we also went in with the eventual goal of giving those nations a better way of life, as did St. Augustine.

    It is very likely you and I would largely agree on the tactics and strategies that must be used to win this war with Islam. Like Eisenhower, whose overall goal in World War II was “to kill Nazis” and to win unconditionally, we both want to win.

    You however have no interest in providing anyone a better way of life. Instead, you only seem to want to kill your enemies.

    I however, like Eisenhower, like St. Augustine, do not want to kill. I want to win so that I can then provide the defeated a better way of life. This is the heart of western civilization. You might want to educate yourself a bit about it.

  • Joe

    Great post mr. Zimmerman, I don’t know how any one could deal with the Middle East as we had dealt with Japan and Germany in the aftermath of WWII, try as the west has to deal with the Middle East, they do not seem to want a better life, it seems as though subjugation and oppression is in their dna, almost as if they want to be oppressed by brutal dictatorships, brainwashing them to think it’s okay to strap bombs onto their children and send them into a crowd. The imams are both religious leaders and government to the masses in those nation states and the people are deliberately kept uneducated, the trend in this country with institutions of higher learning is trending in this direction with bad intentions towards those being indoctrinated.

  • LocalFluff

    Bob, You obviously have never encountered the muslim zombies. It’s they kill you or you kill them. Most of the Westerns civilization, actually most of ALL civilizations, have already been mass murdered and exterminated by the muslims. Fire will have to be fought with fire.

    Why do I want to kill everyone in every clan of every muslim terrorist? It is a terrible thing, why would anyone want to do that? BECAUSE it is terrible! That is why it works! That’s the language the monkies understands. This is not about playing crosswords with the pope. This is about you or them.

    And ME uneducated??? I have been confirmed. Have you, mister Zimmerman? What do you pretend to know about Christianity?

  • wayne

    This isn’t a religious war, it’s a war against western civilization.
    We didn’t start it, but we better be resolved to end it.

  • Wayne: We had better be resolved to end it, but to end it right. If we become no different than savages, than we will have lost our civilization even if we win the war.

    You also, like LocalFluff, seem to forget the whole point of victory here. The goal is not to kill Muslims, the goal is to end the evils of Islam and replace it with something better, for us and for the majority of the population trapped by that corrupt philosophy.

    As I said to LocalFluff, you and I probably agree almost entirely on the harsh strategy and tactics necessary to win the military war. It is after that military war that also concerns me, and you and LocalFluff seem oblivious to.

  • Joe wrote, “They do not seem to want a better life, it seems as though subjugation and oppression is in their dna, almost as if they want to be oppressed by brutal dictatorships.”

    I have heard the same kind of thinking applied to the Germans and Japanese by members of my parents’ generation, the very people who fought World War II. Fortunately, however, the people who managed the war and its aftermath did not agree with this kind of thinking.

    All people have the potential for good and greatness. We just need to give them the chance to achieve it.

    Note please that my original post is about a victory by the Iraqi government, elected by its people, over an Islamic terrorist state. Furthermore, Iraq is allied with us in this effort. This should tell you something.

  • wayne

    Victor Davis Hanson:
    War in the Post Modern World (why the new laws of conflict are surreal)
    https://youtu.be/1o51Kt2WAqI
    (1:09:52)

  • Garry

    I consider myself lucky to have lived in Japan at a time when there were still a large number of people there who had fought World War Two; the collective memory is rapidly fading. My (totally anecdotal) observation was that most of the people who had fought the War came around to our way of thinking, but there were a significant number of ‘bitter clingers” (note to our 44th president: this is proper usage of the term “bitter clinger”), ranging from the soldiers who didn’t surrender until the 1970s, to passive aggressive individuals who have more subtle ways of telling the world they don’t fully embrace all aspects of Japan’s defeat.

    As Mr. Z alluded to, most people on our side thought there would be no way that Japan would surrender and the people see that we would put them on a better path. It took the atomic bombs, and even then there was a coup attempt to prevent the Emperor from surrendering.

    Most Japanese braced themselves for the occupation, expecting that we would act as they had when they occupied conquered territory, with systematic torture, rape, etc. Many were stunned that we didn’t, and even more stunned that we rebuilt their economy. Most are more aware of and appreciative of their Constitution than we are of ours.

    In 1984 I was in Okinawa, when an old, obviously drunk Japanese man came up to me and very aggressively tried to shake my hand. I refused, but he persisted, until I reached the point where I shook his hand to be rid of him. Then I heard laughter from the people I was with that day, and they explained that he had urinated on his hands just before he shook mine. Clearly he was a bitter clinger.

    When I lived in Tokyo in the 90s, my landlord warned all of us that Coca Cola was poison. Apparently that was a popular theory in the early days of the occupation; after all, what product better symbolized America, and what better way to rid oneself of cognitive dissonance than by seeing a conspiracy theory?

    I had colleagues who asked their students what their biggest regret in life was (something I would never ask, but whatever), and several older men said that their biggest regret was that Japan lost World War II, after which they refused to speak at all.

    I had students who were World War Two vets, and occasionally one of them would say some very disturbing things to me. I would always end the conversation by telling them I was a former US Marine, and I would much rather have the Japanese solider as my friend than as my enemy. They all knew what Marines did to their comrades in World War Two, and no student I told that ever brought up the subject again.

    I have several Japanese friends whose parents or grandparents served in World War Two, and they tell me that the veterans never discuss anything about the War.

    Every once in a while a Japanese politician will say something crazy about how Japan’s colonization of other countries was a good thing, and all of East Asia will protest loudly.

    When I lived in Tokyo, on many Sundays Japanese right-wing groups would drive the city in buses, dressed in pseudo World War Two uniforms, playing martial music and declaring over loudspeakers that Japan has to return to its glory days.

    But these are all exceptions; I have had just as many older Japanese people go out of their way to thank me for what America did to rebuild Japan, even though it happened before I was born. Meanwhile the younger generation has no concept of what World War Two was about, and I can’t imagine today’s generations trying to conquer East Asia again, committing atrocities, etc.; they live in a very sanitized society.

    One of the main things to keep in mind is that it takes generations for acceptance of a better way of life, and even then there are bitter clingers. But it absolutely has happened, to people who were every bit as fanatical as (parts of) the Muslim world today. Muslim extremists tend to think of the long game, whereas we are stuck in the tactical.

    I don’t view any of this as a morality play; right only wins when it takes the necessary actions to gain surrender. But once surrender is gained, showing the defeated enemy a better way of life brings more benefits than killing him wholesale.

  • wayne

    Garry-
    Always enjoy hearing of your Adventures.

    Again– this is not a religious War, but it is a War, and it is a Total War.

  • Garry: My only objection to your very fascinating comment is that it is not appropriate to label modern pro-fascist Japanese protesters as “right-wing.” Almost all the fascist dictatorships of the mid-twentieth century had their roots on the left, or were at least based on top-down rule, which has nothing to do with the philosophies of the right.

  • Garry

    Mr. Z, I was carelessly using the term that Japanese use for these people; as we’ve discovered in threads with participation from people around the world, the terms “liberal,” “conservative,” etc. mean different things in different places.

  • wodun

    I agree with the notion of showing people a better way of life. Our past two Presidents weren’t too concerned with cultural change though and instead let the people of Iraq and Afghanistan keep many of their societal traits that are detrimental to living life like we do in the USA.

    There are, of course, exceptions but we have largely had the position that we didn’t want to change their cultures. Our friends to the left wouldn’t be very happy with a position of intentional cultural change for the countries we fight in.

    Part of the problem is that many of our politicians don’t see that our culture is a better way.

  • Alex

    Mr. Zimmerman: Your American complacency is absolutely sickening. Is US empire not aggressive towards rest of world? BTW, in 1945 Germany and Japan were higher educated, civilized and cultured, than the USA ever will be. BTW, Eisenhower is responsible for the death of over one million German prisoners of war (POW), which has starved in Rhine camps. An unbelievable war crime.

  • wayne

    “Your Job In Germany”
    US Army Occupation Training Film #8
    (Written by Dr. Seuss and the basis for the 1946 Oscar-winning film, “Hitler Lives.”)
    https://youtu.be/Rv1yZ6tq3mY
    (14:14)

    “Our Job In Japan”
    US Army Occupation Training Film #15
    (Written by Dr. Seuss and formed the basis for his 1947 Oscar-winning film, “Design For Death.”
    https://youtu.be/czW1IJ-Hd1I
    (17:15)

  • pzatchok

    Did you get into the vodka again Alex?

    If so thanks for the early July 4th celebration.

  • wayne

    wodun/pzatchok-
    Good stuff!

    (SpaceX launch is coming up soon.)

  • Edward

    Alex asked: “Is US empire not aggressive towards rest of world?

    No, it is not. Otherwise the US would be an empire.

    Alex,
    You have confused the requests by the United Nations for assistance policing bad-acting nations as being aggression on the part of the US.

    Robert reported an Iraqi victory in regaining Iraqi territory. How and why did this report turn into a condemnation of the US, which was not involved in the victory, and of Robert, who also was not involved?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *